An underground bingo club that’s secretly sweeping the world
It’s no secret that bingo has made quite the comeback in recent years. For the majority of my life, I associated bingo with bored grannies in smoky bingo halls – it didn’t quite seem like an awesome way to spend an evening with friends. BUT – there is a more interesting form of bingo that has been sweeping the world over the past few years that you may or may not be familiar with.
Ever heard of The Underground Rebel Bingo Club?
It’s been gaining worldwide recognition traveling the world, yet its events are still off the radar enough that some still question if the organization even exists. This international cult of good times does not have your typical sweepstakes and it doesn’t exactly qualify for the WhichBingo Awards, unlike CheekyBingo which took it upon itself to share with everyone on Twitter that they nabbed two nominations. No, this form of bingo is unlike any other you have ever heard of. To put it in the words of James Flames, one of the co-creators, “Rebel Bingo is an internal riot of confusing emotions with a LOUD stage show where we ask you to ‘stab’ out numbers, scream at your friends, and dance to DJs.”
It may seem like the game of bingo itself would get lost within the bass pumping music and the live stage show, but in truth, the addition of the game is what initially made the event take off, as Torontoist once pointed out. It all began as standard parties with the DJs playing anything and everything from ’80s rock to heavy metal – a fairly typical nightclub scene. But when they decided to add bingo to their events, the number of party goers suddenly increased. Rebel Bingo became a hit, and they had to move these nights to bigger and better venues.
While James and co-creator Freddie Fortune initially only organized these secret events in the UK, the word quickly started to spread, and they decided to take the party on tour around the world. In 2011, Rebel Bingo first made its way to Toronto. James and Freddie promised a night of secrets, interactive performance, extremely loud music, dancing and drawing – and I can say, having attended, that they successfully delivered.
That night at Wrongbar was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. Sadly I didn’t walk away with any of their insane/funny prizes, so I am eager for them to return. I can’t yet give any exact dates on when they might be setting up shop again for another night at a secret downtown location – but if you stay tuned, you just might find out.